THE GREATEST QUESTION EVER ASKED – THE PHYSICS THAT DEFINES YOU
The mind is a beautiful creation, the ultimate machine. Even after 2 hundred thousand years, no cutting-edge technology has come even close to replicating the gift obtained at birth, proclaiming us as masters of this world.
What actually makes the brain beautiful, however, is what floats inside it – ideas, memories, images, sounds, thoughts and so much more, in a sort of controlled chaos. In the modern age, the main role of the brain has evolved and boiled down to just one thing – the question.
Within each of our minds, lies a series of questions. Questions that matter, questions that don’t (not to others, anyway), questions that c rave for answers to the point of sleeplessness, and questions that cropped up because of an answer in the first place.
So, what could be the greatest question that has ever been asked till date? The answer:
“WHY DOES THE APPLE FALL?”
Why? I hear you ask, and I reply: Because that question defines physics, and physics is what defines you.
Confused, yes? It doesn’t seem that big of a deal! The question is really very simple, and that is the beauty of it – genius is borne out of simplicity alone.
The question was asked by Isaac Newton. The question was answered by Sir Isaac Newton.
That question spawned the concept of gravity, and we came to know that the apple fell due to gravity. Thus, gravity gave a new definition of mass.
Newton then further delved in: “Does the apple pull the Earth towards itself also, then?” And the idea of reaction forces came into existence.
The genius did not stop there. “If the apple falls towards the Earth, then does the Moon also fall towards the Earth?” Ask the same question to the commoner, and he would giggle and reply, “Obviously NOT!”
The answer is actually an affirmative – the moon IS falling.
The obvious follow-up arises: “So why does it not fall towards the Earth’s surface?” This question gave birth to the concept of centripetal forces, which is pretty much the reason for most activities occurring around us.
A new tendril of thought arose: “Fine, centripetal forces exist everywhere, but then, why are all orbits not perfectly circular, then? Why are most of them elliptical?” This question could not be answered by the mathematics prominent at the time, so a new branch of mathematics was invented – calculus, a branch which redefined Science, a Science which redefined the Earth.
Then the role of gravity in bending light, centripetal forces in various instruments, calculus in 90% physics today, most lately involving the effect of dark energy and matter on gravity, the list can just go on and on, and all the grand product of that one beautifully simple question.
“WHY DID THE APPLE FALL?”
And so, just keep asking. Keep questioning. The world impatiently awaits its next great mastermind, and to become that, all you need is to find that one simple, beautiful question, which no one has ever thought about. Yet.
That one right question that, when put forth, will redefine the world once more.